Saturday, 19th May, 1866

A lovely day after the inclemency of the morning was over. – – Mr. Foster came to buy lambs, but didn’t come to a bargain.1 Bev Littlepage spent the day. Zac and he made a drift and caught 4 shad. – – Gave Bev two letters to read. – – Bill had a chill today. – – Zac carried Nan and myself to Walkerton, made some purchases. Sold Randall a pair of cloth pants for $3.50, also paid him $2. – – Patsy went on a visit today. – – Clarissa milks, we have three _?_ calves.2 – – Gave Bill Calomel and Jalap tonight. – – Who ever reads this journal will laugh at the incoherent style in which it is written, but twas not for other eyes to see. – – Nan received a letter from Jennie Henley.

  1. Thomas K. Foster, about 68, lives nearby with his wife Mary, 51. While also a small farmer, the 1850 and 1870 US Census lists him as a blacksmith. By 1866 most of the Foster children are grown and have left home. Only Theodore, about 16 when Caroline mentions this Mr. Foster, is living at home by the 1870 US Census. However, older brother Richard, who would be about 24 in 1866, has recently married and may be interested in establishing a household that includes a herd of sheep. Mr. Foster will not reappear, so we will not be able to narrow down Caroline’s visitor more closely than this.  (back)
  2. Caroline apparently has chosen to substitute small reverse commas for letters in two words. My reading is that she wishes to write, “.., we have three goodly calves.” Caroline is at this point beginning to write into a water damaged portion of the old ledger. Perhaps the damaged paper at the edge is so soft or rough that she gives up trying a smooth pen stroke and she expresses her frustration by these short marks. But she has plenty of space to start another line, which she shall do before this sentence is complete. Click on the phrase and tell me what you think.  (back)